A home office has the potential to avoid costly, time-consuming trips, provide a more relaxed work environment, and allow more control over the working conditions that suit you. Your workstation is no longer limited to a single desktop; Audio can roam freely in the air, so conference calls are not limited to a single room; and the use of technology is actually increasing collaboration with your colleagues instead of hindering them.
Among other things, you need to consider how you can optimize your environment to avoid clutter and unwanted distractions. Internet of Things (IoT) devices can help you with this. The market is full of IoT devices for the home, some useful, some not so useful, and others really pretty pointless. So here are eight that can actually help reduce distractions while having a positive impact on your home work environment.
A cornerstone of any smart home and the core of your business is the smart speaker. In your smart home office, it also acts as your digital PA, an extension of your phone, and a hub to control your other smart devices, which are increasingly using intelligent speaker integration. It could also just help you use your productivity to use your voice for work-related research or a quick query instead of recording your tablet or opening another window on your PC.
There is a bevy of intelligent speakers to choose from and the number of choices is constantly increasing.
Google's offering, which includes the Google Assistant, is now available on more than 5,000 smart home devices – including General Electric bulbs, connected Logitech cameras, and LG home appliances.
Google Home is a great way to sync with the many built-in Google services like Google Calendar and Google Notes. Once you set up your voice profile with the Google Assistant, a task list is created, you can add events and remind events, and stream music or white noise through Spotify or Google Play.
For Hands-Free Calling Google Home users in the US or Canada can also call a number stored in your Google Contacts. Say "Hey Google, Call …" followed by a specific phone number for outgoing calls over Wi-Fi.
With Amazon Echo, you can create a to-do list, manage the calendar, make reorders, listen to music or podcasts, or set timers to remind you to switch to another task or pause. Alexa supports phone calls to other Echo devices or the Alexa smartphone app.
Echo Show, a part of Amazon Echo Line, is basically Alexa connected to a screen, allowing face-to-face calls. Echo also supports text messaging for Android devices. Just say "Alexa, send a message" to send text via SMS or Alexa's messaging platform. Amazon Echo Connect connects your echo device to your home phone and allows your echo to act as a hands-free device.
If you continue with Apple's HomePod and Siri for your smart home hub, you can still receive better-quality and still-to-call conference calling Tap freehand while ingesting. You can also hold calls on hold and switch between them with just a tap. If you need to send a message to a colleague, enable Siri and she will do that for you.
Noise has proven to be a major obstacle to productivity, and for people with families or housemates working at home is fraught with distractions. Smart earplugs block the ambient noise and amplify it when you want to hear it. They are also one of the more mobile smart home devices and allow hands-free operation.
For example, the Bragi Dash Pro has a 15 meter signal to make calls with your smartphone. In addition, it has 4GB of built-in memory and keeps track of your activities when you're out at lunchtime. Dash Pro is not just a professional headset for calls, it also relies on iTranslate integration, "passive noise isolation", ambient noise and audio streaming from Bluetooth devices.
Nueheara IQbuds give the user better balance The amount of real noise with the noise coming from your headphones, depending on the environment you are in. This means that you block out a noisy home environment and also amplify ambient noise without turning off your music. Siri or Google can also be activated via the Tap-Touch control.
Sony's Xperia Ear is intended as an unobtrusive interaction with a smartphone. It has "intuitive gesture sensitivity" – that is, you can nod your head or make a hand gesture to give orders. It acts as a personal companion to an Android smartphone and can schedule events, give you news and weather forecasts, and keep you in touch with as many as four other Xperia Ear users at the same time. Owners can also use voice commands to initiate a call, search the web, dictate a message, or get directions.
Air quality control
Poor air quality can be a problem in homes due to lack of ventilation and moisture control, dust mite allergens and molds, cleaning equipment and even office equipment such as photocopiers and laser printers that can emit paper nanoparticles fibers and inorganic gases. Household air quality is further compromised when you share your house with pets or smokers.
The good news is that there are now a number of compact smart air purifiers on the market to improve your health. Dyson maintains its cyclone separation method in virtually every area, including the Pure Cool air purifier. It uses the company's patented Air Multiplier technology, which delivers clean air while retaining 99.97 percent of the 0.3 micron particle contaminants.
On the front of the Pure Cool is an LCD display that detects and displays pollutants in real time. The accompanying Dyson Link app includes a record of the detected levels of pollution and lets you set a cleaning schedule. It is also compatible with your Amazon Alexa and allows you to control your air quality with your voice.
Other humidity control devices monitor indoor air quality and advise when opening a window. For example, the open-source Airboxlab Foobot monitors moisture, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide, but also detects volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cleaning equipment or cooking.
Airboxlab also monitors particles smaller than 2.5 microns in length and causes health problems. It has a number of warning lights that give a general indication of air quality and tell you when to open the windows.
The relatively simple battery-powered Elgato Eve wireless room sensor monitors VOCs, indoor air pollution, temperature and humidity, and is tightly integrated with Siri. With the Eve app, you also have control over your other smart appliances in the home.
Finally, Ecobee 4 reads the temperature and room occupancy and can be linked to multiple room sensors to provide readings throughout the home. It also comes with integrated Amazon Alexa support and sends free energy reports to see how much you consume. Together with a smart plug in every room, this means a more balanced temperature control throughout the house and less waste of energy.
Ecobee and its sensors also work with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana and Samsung SmartThings.
An intelligent plug basically allows the remote control of all standard devices that are connected to the mains. In other words, even if your office environment is full of heaters, lights, and dehumidifiers that are not connected to the Internet, you can control them through your smartphone without leaving your desk.
Most allow you to plan your devices This way, you can remotely control your smart devices and use their apps to keep track of your energy usage and associated costs. If this bulky printer consumes a lot of energy, turn it on and off with a tap of your desk. If your old heater makes too much noise, too. If you have a limited budget, smart plugs are a solid option as they do not mean a complete overhaul of your existing home appliances.
Many of those on the market are pretty cheap, with D-Link Smart Plug and Tp-Link models retailing for less than $ 50. Both are compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home, while iHome smart plugs are compatible with Apple HomeKit and Siri.
(Microwavable) Smart Notepad and Pen
A notepad is handy when it hangs on the desk, when the computer freezes and you have to scramble up an idea as quickly as possible. Some users will always go for pen and paper, since everything on a note-taking app on an iPad can be fiddly and consist of endlessly switching from the keyboard up and down. A smart notebook and a pen really suit someone who wants the ease and familiarity of writing with a pen and paper, but needs to get the results in the cloud as quickly as possible. Some of them, such as the Rocketbook Everlast and the microwavable Rocketbook Wave, do not need to be charged.
With Everlast, the Pilot FriXon pen and its app, there is reusable and endless notebook space. Once you have created your note and are ready to send it to the cloud, scan multiple pages in seconds with your smartphone as it scans the QR code of each page. The icons at the bottom of each page can be highlighted to indicate which cloud or e-mail service they should be sent in a clearer resolution. To wipe the pages clean, all you need is a damp cloth, while the Rocketbook Wave needs a spell in the microwave to freshen up the page – you read it correctly, a microwave – but erasable and reusable up to five times. Wacom's Bamboo Slate similarly shares notes in the cloud, but at the touch of a button.
The Livescribe Echo Smart Pen now has a microphone and a miniature camera on top. It records audio and syncs your notes with audio, which means that you can tap on a specific word or symbol that you have recorded, and that the audio jumps to what you heard when you made that note. The included Livescribe Dot Paper notebook also includes pausing and recording icons to start and stop recording with a tap.
What's really cool about Echo is that your notes are rewritten after uploading to Echo Desktop on the user interface of the paper parts of the audio back. Echos brother Livescribe 3 is optimized for iOS and Android and has an infrared camera, a flash memory and a Bluetooth smart chipset. Users can also print their own Livescribe notebooks. The Livescribe family is a great option if you need to listen to conference calls and find out what your hastily scribbled notes should mean.
Smart time keeper
If you work autonomously from home, your boss may need to measure exactly what you did all day and how much time you spent per task. Timelarer's ZEI Timekeeper is a small cube that eliminates the need to manually fill a weekly timesheet.
Employees or freelancers can assign each of the eight sides of the cube to different office tasks – such as emails, phone calls, and meetings – by marking a symbol that relates to each one. The users then turn the dice to this side when performing this task, and the timer starts the clock.
The ZEI app then handles the submission of the time sheets and hours are tracked to get a clearer picture of how people spend their time. The resulting data can help to find ways to increase productivity, or just to read the hours of freelancers more accurately.
Intelligent Coffee Maker
These may sound like a luxurious intelligent item for the home office, but some are surprisingly cheap. And if you can order a coffee from your phone and make it to your liking, why not? In addition, caffeine is the fuel of productivity, and you do not want to break your precious schedule, which is now set by a cube that sends its data back to your employer. There is also something pretty great about having your coffee out of bed and having it drink when you start working.
Most have the same standard features: They plan so that you have a cup of coffee ready at the same time each morning, reminders of replenishing water or coffee beans, automatic shutdown if there is no water to overheat too prevent.
The high-end option, Nespresso Expert Espresso Machine, offers four coffee cup sizes – Americano, Espresso, Lungo and Ristretto – a choice of three temperatures and an integrated "Aeroccino Milk Frother". With the app you can manage recipes and schedules, personalize your coffee and with a simple order option the capsules ahead.
If you do not mind filtering coffee, you can use Smarter Coffee to set an alarm and start brewing from that time on. Use the dial on the app to choose how many cups of coffee you want in your pot or not. The app also shows you how much water you still have in your device before you need to refill. And if that's not enough, it can connect with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, turning your smart speaker into your personal barista.
If you do not want to go beyond the $ 100 mark, BrewGenie has an eight -cup capacity, sends you smart reminders, and automatically brews on-demand or at the same time every morning, even though its range is 150 feet or shorter Walls in between. It makes your smartphone play music for you when it brews your first coffee of the day. Nice touch.
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